Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Clock dial with 2016-2017 change represents the new 2017, three-dimensional rendering, 3D illustration

With Just 100+ Days Left in the Year…Timing is Everything

By Julie Escobar

It’s funny to think that what you do today – this week – this month will affect whether you and your family will celebrate a stress-free holiday season and finish the year strong, or whether you’ll be worried and hurried and wind up with more year left than budget!   With just over 100 days left in the year – let’s take some ideas from the top producers and look at the five things they continuously put into place to guarantee a great fourth quarter.

  1. Know your numbers.  Savvy entrepreneurs already know how much business they need to  bring in before year’s end.  They also think ahead – and know what they need to do to head into the new year with momentum.  Don’t wait another day to get a handle these numbers if you haven’t already.  Figure out what you want and need to make and how many listings you want to have heading into the year then work the math to see how many contacts you need to make to get the number of appointments you need based on your closing ratio to achieve the number of listings you need to realize your goals.Happy Halloween Card  Make yourself a daily chart to ensure that you stay on track.
  2. Leverage the opportunities to connect.  The fourth quarter is filled with holiday gatherings and neighborhood invites.  The holidays create an amazing reason to reach out and connect with your customer base.  Don’t wait for Christmas either! Be the agent that connects all season long with a postcard and a call.  Call every existing customer you have and wish them a happy holiday season ahead.  Let them know that with all the chatter in the national news and even local headlines, you’ve found that many people have questions about how this will affect their family, their investments and their future.  Be sure they know that you’re on top if it all and there to answer any questions they might have.Thanksgiving card
  3. Ask for referrals.  Before you hang up – be sure to ask your clients if they know of anyone who might need some help.  There’s plenty of people struggling and unsure of what their options are in today’s market. Let them know you are a resource they can turn to – whatever their situation.  If you don’ t have the immediate answers –you’re your clients know that  you’ll be first in line to get them.  On the reverse side of your holiday cards, make an offer for something of value. A free Comparative Market Analysis, or one of our great free reports such as 5 Ways to Build Equity in Your Home. 5 ways to build equity
  4. Don’t leave your marketing to chance.  Life gets in the way sometime – no doubt.  We get busy, over-scheduled and over-committed – especially as we make our way toward the fall and winter holidays.  That’s when things like marketing and prospecting fall through the cracks or take a back seat.  Put a plan in place today to make sure that you have all systems “go” to make sure you are staying top-of-mind and that your listings are being showcased and syndicated in all the ways that matter for great exposure and results. Set aside 20-30 minutes at the beginning of each month or each week to set your marketing in motion by ordering your holiday postcards, and your Just Listed/Just Sold or Open House postcards. Knocking out your marketing in under half an hour gives you a lot more time to prospect, present and close – the three things closest to your bottom line.  It also helps you make up for larger than normal volume of downtime you’ll spend at holiday activities.  Spend guilt-free time with friends and family, attend winter recitals and holiday concerts without worrying so much about what’s not getting done in the office.  If you need help – call the terrific folks in our client care center at 866.405.3638 – they’ll help you get everything all lined up this month so you slide into the home stretch of this year without stress.
  5. Commit to the extra mile.  I love the Wayne Dyer quote, “It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”  Commit to 10 extra calls a day over the next 17 weeks.  Commit to adding just ONE new person to your prospect list each day.  That’s 109 more folks that can and will bring you new business and referrals in the coming year if you stay top of mind.  Do you think that could be worth a commission or three…or more?

The truth is that the bottom 80% of the salespeople in our industry won’t be doing any of these five things over the next quarter.  Many will look at how far behind they already are from their goal, throw their hands up and give up.  Many will do the basics – no more and no less and continue to live commission check to commission check.  It will be those of you who strike out, step up and stay laser-focused who will be out on top this year, crushing their goals and kick starting 2017 with a fiery passion.

Where do you want to be in four months?  Top 20 or bottom 80?  What you do this month will make all the difference.10 percent

If you need help – call us.  Our team has been helping eager agents get to the next level and top producers stay on top for more than 20 years.  We can do the same for you, call 866.405.3638 today! Head over to our Specials Page to see what’s new and get the latest budget saving promo codes! 

 

Three Strategies for a Constantly Changing Market

by Julie Escobar

As competition grows more fierce, you may find yourself like many agents asking, “What’s my next move?” Savvy sales professionals are negotiating the turn by investing in smart systems and tools that will help them compete long-term in today’s real estate arena. Who will take the lead in both listing and selling homes as we navigate this constantly shifting market? Those who stay strategically focused on one-to-one marketing, negotiating effectively up front, and committing to consistent business development through monthly prospecting.

1. Set Your Standards High: In any market, taking listings that just won’t sell is far worse than having no listings at all. While you may be tempted to take at any price, terms or commission to secure the listing, this is a recipe for failure. Consider instead, raising your standards using a strong, effective tool which spotlights the homeowner’s commitment to getting the home sold in the quickest possible time, with the best price and terms. We call it our Merchandising Review and there are three very successful ways to implement this valuable tool.

First: Make the right mutual decisions at the listing appointment. In all likelihood, throughout your presentation your sellers will have an objection or two regarding terms such as price, commission, etc. Our suggestion is to agreeably shelve objection handling until AFTER you have obtained the signatures for the listing. Then close your appointment by going over the Merchandising Review to make certain everything is MerchandisingReviewTHUMBin order.

Sample dialogue: “I want to thank you for listing your home with me. Please know that I will do everything in my power to get it sold. To help me do just that, let me take a few minutes to go over our Merchandising Review. I use this the same way pilots use a pre-flight checklist. This list of 18 different seller-controlled factors actually will help generate a quicker sale for the best possible price and terms. What I need from you is a commitment to check off at least eight of these items. Let’s review.” Then simply walk them through the list and negotiate where necessary.

Second: Get non-selling inventory back on track. Go through your inventory and red flag problem listings. Walk through the problems using the Merchandising Review. Contact your sellers by phone or visit in person to help them understand those review items that are hindering the sale of their home.

Sample Dialogue: “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, we’ve had your property on the market for ____ days now and we are not getting the results that either of us had hoped for. We have a new tool called the Merchandising Review that helps us identify problem areas, and I’d like to sit down with you to discuss those issues. I believe if we walk through these items we can get your listing back on track and help exact a faster sale for your home. Would tomorrow at 6:00 pm be good or would 8:30 pm be better?”real estate fsbo marketing postcards

Third: Capturing the attention of EXPIREDS! While expired listings have been remote in recent years, they are back and can be difficult to maneuver. The Merchandising Review offers you a great foot in the door for these sometimes soured-on-salespeople sellers. We’ve found the following dialogue captures their attention and helps you better negotiate both appointment and listing.

Sample Dialogue: “Hello, Mr./Mrs./Miss ____________. My name is ________and I’m with _________. The reason for my call is to see if you are still interested in selling your home. I’m sure you must be disappointed that it didn’t sell the first time, but I think I have something that will help keep that situation from happening to you again. It’s called a Merchandising Review, have you heard of it before? It is a special tool I use to make a comprehensive analysis of why your home didn’t sell and what needs to be done differently to guarantee it will sell should you decide to put it back on the market. What I’d like to do is to set a time when we could sit down to go over the Merchandising Review. It only takes about 20-25 minutes, and there will be absolutely no cost for this service. Would Wednesday at 6:15 pm be good or Thursday at 8:30 pm be better for you?”

Now, simply walk them through each item, correct the problem areas and review your marketing plan!

2. Price It Right Pyramid! Take advantage of this guerrilla-style objection handling tool when explaining to PricePyramidTHUMBsellers that the key to selling their property faster in a difficult market is to price it right from the beginning. Use this strategy in conjunction with the Merchandising Review and you have a great foundation for a successful sale.

The 5 most common mistakes sellers make when choosing a price:
1. Not choosing the right price when a property is first listed. In other words, thinking “we can always come down.”
2. Putting the property on the market at an unrealistic price. A property must be priced on a comparative basis to the other similar properties.
3. Not relating marketing time to price. Generally, the quicker you want to sell, the less you should be willing to take.
4. Calculating brokerage fees on top of the sales price. A home is worth what it’s worth, with or without a commission.
5. Thinking that buyers aren’t comparing your home, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, with every other home on the market.

3. Data Mine for Marketing Gold! To compete in today’s arena it helps to have a few high-tech tools in your arsenal. Data mining is a simple, highly effective tool which allows you to be very specific in your search for lifestyle interstnew prospects.  You can use our list services to find niche market clients such as boat owners looking for waterfront properties, golf enthusiasts searching for golf communities based on Lifestyle Interest Data. It’s perfect for customizing a targeted new potential customer mailing list so you easily match your message to your ideal market.

What kind of information can you access with our Demographic Search Option?

  • Tax assessor data supplied by Acxiom
  • Over 128 million deliverable addresses
  • 97.3% of US counties available
  • Radial, polygon or pinpoint search function
  • Identify and mail to owner/occupants or absentee owners

Whatever you do, make sure your message is clear and marketing consistent. Call, see or send something to everyone in your base of business at least every 30 days and you will weather the market changes with both ease and profit!

Need help? Visit www.prospectsplus.com, or contact our team at 866.405.3638 today. They’ve got the answers you’re looking for! 

Staying Ahead of Your Competition

By Julie Escobar

The weather and the market are both HOT and agents are asking us for strategies and how to’s for august dominatordominating in a geographic farm.  To answer that – we turned to Todd Robertson for some tips and ideas that are working for Market Dominator Members across the nation.

Q:  Hey Todd, a lot of our readers don’t want to wait for the fall market to work on their competitive edge – do you have some ideas for them?

A:  Sure – the year is already more than half over and a lot of agents are looking at the calendar and thinking, “No way am I going to hit my goals.”  That’s a little intimidating, right? For some, it’s enough to make them already start to shut down.  Don’t.  Instead, realize it’s time to dig in. To put a source of accountability into your career – your weekly routine and create a game plan. You know, we’re really glad that we can be a source for agents. The Master Marketing ScheduleTM that you’ve created is a powerful tool to help agents stay on track and put some consistency into their marketing.  It takes the “what do I do?” out, which is a big stress for a lot of agents.  First step I would say, is to start there, and develop a game plan that will allow you to connect CONSISTENTLY, with your Sphere of Influence, a Geographic Farm, and a niche market. If you can work a campaign for each of those marketing segments without fail, month after month, your results will grow exponentially.

Q:  I agree!  We share a lot of strategies about staying consistent.  How often should agents connect withdominator back listing their sphere, farm, and niche?

A:  At least monthly. Those ‘touch’ points are so important in terms of staying top of mind and creating brand awareness.  Send something every month to all three, and not necessarily the same thing.  For your sphere, many agents choose a postcard campaign such as a holiday series (not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas!), recipe cards, content cards, inspirational postcards, or a newsletter each month.  For their geo farms they send our Market Dominator, or Listing Inventory, or the Free Offer/Neighborhood Specialist cards – all are popular.  For a niche, they are specific to that group – for example: Expireds, FSBOs, First Time Home Buyers, Investors, etc. Top agents are also diligent about sending out Just Listed/Just Sold postcards with every listing and sale they have. Without exception. Why? They spotlight you as the agent that can generate RESULTS – and they showcase the properties you are marketing. That’s a powerful combo. Then they do that thing that agents desperately steer clear of but shouldn’t if they want to fire up their career on all levels – they FOLLOW UP.

Q:  There’s the sticking point, right?  The old getting on the phone or walking the farm and knocking on doors part that stops agents in their tracks. Any suggestions?

A:  Yes, the first step we just talked about – putting a campaign in place that touches your customers and prospects every month. That makes it way less intimidating when you call them. Why? Because you have a reason to touch base with them.  It doesn’t have to be a “SALES call”, it is a follow up call – or visit if you are walking a farm.  “Hey there, Todd Robertson here, from Success Realty, just wanted to touch base.  We’ve got a LOT of changes in the market, and I just wanted to see if you had any questions.”  (Yes or no, doesn’t matter really, you’re just touching base, asking questions.) Or you can do a combination of touching base and letting them know that you have a big goal to hit.  “Hey there, Todd Robertson, Success Realty, how are you?  You may have seen me in the neighborhood and I hope you’re receiving my mailings.  I just wanted to touch base, see if you had any questions about our market or what homes are selling for right now?  By the way, I am committed to helping as many clients as I can take advantage of this market.  Who do you know who might be interested in buying or selling in the next 90 days? Maybe someone from work? Or your kids’ sport team?  Or church?  If you think of someone, I sure hope you’ll remember my name and pass it along. Thanks so much.”

This month we shared a great listing strategy one of our Dominator members uses — and that’s to take the extra 20 Market Dominators that he gets each month and bring them with him when he is walking his farm or going on listing appointments.  He lets people know that he is the only one in that market that is willing to consistently show up in a big way (12×15!) each month and that when they list with him – he will dedicate an entire 1/3rd panel of his Dominator to market that listing until it sells.  That’s helped him close for the signature again and again. You may want to give that a try as well!

Here’s a quick video I did for our members on the topic:

Q:  Awesome — lastly, what about those agents who need the extra push or accountability? 

A:  For a lot of agents coaching is a good investment, but it can be out of the budget for many.  Instead, perhaps consider starting or joining a Mastermind group in your area.  Think and Grow Rich has an entire chapter on this topic that is still incredibly relevant and powerful today.  Participating in a group like this costs you zero – but your return will be extraordinary.  You’re involved with like-minded people, all with the goal of lifting each other up, cheering each other on, and holding each other accountable. That’s the missing link for many agents.  If there’s not one in your area that you want to join – start one.  Your career, customers, and bank balance will all be the better for it!

We’re hosting  a new webinar next week, Wednesday, Jul 27, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT How to Own More Market Share & End the Year WIth 5 Extra Closings — we hope you’ll join us!

Click here to register. 

Thanks Todd.  Great stuff.  If you’d like to learn more about the kind of tools that we have to help keep YOU on track and ready for the fall market and beyond, head over to our Master Marketing ScheduleTM  or main site today.  If you’re interested in dominating a geographic farm and would like to speak with Todd about that directly, click here to learn more.  Our team is here to help you with all your marketing needs, call us today at 866-405-3638!

Expanding Your Marketing Options and Opportunity

By Julie Escobar

it’s good to have options–right?  Especially when you are building a brand, and growing your business. That’s what our customers tell us every week — and it’s why we continuously work to deliver exceptional options to agents all across North America. One of the features of our site that our customers tell us they love having is the Upload Your Own option.  Why?  It gives those of you who’ve already had branded materials created and just need print resource and those of you who are pretty handy, creative and tech-savvy to create the exact pieces you want for your marketing and STILL have a means to get them printed, shipped and sent to your book of business or to yourself quickly, easily and best of all – AFFORDABLY.

Let’s face it.  Printing up all your materials yourself and getting them the way you want them on your home printer isn’t always a walk in the park.  And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit crunch time only to find my printer is (NATURALLY) out of INK.  And for agents who like to have their marketing materials on-hand presentation foldersand professionally printed and looking sharp – this really is the best of both worlds.

What are agents printing using the UPLOAD YOUR OWN option on our new site?

  • Pre-listing packages:  (This is a great one because all that collated and matching everything up is a pain for most agents!  And now we have really cool, branded presentation folders as well that they can just tuck each one into!)
  • Feature Property or Open House flyers:  This is especially handy if you’re using an InfoBox and need to print a lot of them at a low cost so you can keep replenishing your supply.
  • Pre-designed and branded marketing pieces:  Many of you have spent considerable time, effort and flyersenergy to create branded personal brochures, notecards and stationery – but just need a reasonable source to get them printed that you can rely on for short-run ability, good pricing and reliability.
  • Large files:  No burning up your ink jet with large files that need printing – we’ve got it! (For Less!)
  • Brochures:  Having the right brochures on hand for open houses, presentations, leave-behinds at local businesses and more is vital to your business.
  • Invitations:  Invites to community events, fundraisers, client appreciation parties or real estate workshops are easy and fast to reproduce.
  • Posters, Postcards and Print Outs – Oh my! Anything you need printing – we can find a way to
    Spaccommodate.  From the postcards or printouts that you design yourself to the event pieces you might need for your sphere, farm or community.
  • Magnets: Many agents like to print out sports event calendars, regular calendars, recipes, top marketing tips with a magnetic back (way to STICK around for your sphere.) By the way – our Football Schedule Series is a super popular marketing tool. See them here. It’s easy!

There are so many options you can now choose and we’re thrilled to bring them to you.  Whether you would like ready-made marketing tools such as our free reports, postcards, stationery, niche kits, presentation folders or if you prefer to create your own and just choose to print it offsite – we hope you’ll discover how simple, affordable and service-focused we are to work with.

Make sure your artwork is sized to fit our printing requirements by visiting our Artwork Specifications Link here.

And if you are NOT a do-it-yourself kind of guy or gal — head over to our Specials Page and see what agents across the nation are sending this month!

Got questions?  Call us today at 866.405.3638 to get the help you need printing the marketing pieces you want to help you grow your business and get those phones ringing!

Getting the Inside Scoop to See If EDDM is Right for YOU and Your Business

By Julie Escobar

Wow.  We’ve had a lot of calls recently about this powerful (and affordable) service now provided by the U.S. Postal Service.  It allows you to literally get in EVERY DOOR in a geographic area for as low as 18.3 cents in postage per piece.  But there are a LOT of questions out there – and a lot of folks unsure about which way to go in terms of getting their message in the right hands to help brand themselves in a market.  So I put on my fact-finding hat so that I could give you guys the inside skinny on some things you need to know about this service to determine if it is really right for you.

Fact #1:  According to direct marketing statistics, businesses which get the majority of their clients from within a 3 mile radius of their office are:  REALTORS®, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, dentists, chiropractors…(the list goes on – but did you catch that first one?) Love that!

Fact #2:   This is the most cost-effective means to deliver your message to an ENTIRE market area.  As a SATURATION mailing tool – you can literally send up to 5,000 pieces each day (to be delivered to EVERY SINGLE mailbox on your chosen carrier route) still pay no more than 18.3 cents in postage per piece.

Fact #3:  There is no postage permit necessary – only the required indicia which is fairly small needs to be placed on your mailing piece.  (We’ve got that for you- no worries!)

Fact #4 – You don’t need a mailing list.  This is a biggie!  One of the toughest components that agents find in building their book of business is developing their LIST.  While it IS one of the best practices you can ever do to build long-term referrals and keep your customers and clients calling YOU back for the duration of your career – it is a stumbling block for many.  So while you’re waiting to get your list together (go ahead and hire a broke college kid to start data entry today – they need the money and you need a database!) – the EDDM™ system is the perfect way to start branding yourself and discover NEW PROSPECTS to put into your sphere!

Fact #5:  You can send standard mail flats, irregular parcels, periodicals, and bound printed flats.  But – your
Dominator April 16mailing piece cannot be more than 15′ long, 12′ high and .75′ thick.

Fact #6:  The common mailing pieces for EDDM™ used by REALTORS® are newsletters, open house postcards, just listed postcards, just sold postcards, introduction/neighborhood specialist announcements or workshop invitations (first time home buying seminars, short sale seminars, workshops for seniors, renters. buy workshops, etc.)

Fact #7:  You can select whether or not you want your mailing delivered to P.O. Boxes and Farm mail routes!

Fact #8:  Your mailing will saturate every consumer within your carrier route AND  it can also include delivery to businesses.  However – you CANNOT just send to businesses.

Fact #9:  When choosing your carrier routes – remember to choose WISELY.  With this system – you must mail to EVERY home on the carrier route.  So it’s important to look at the market you want to saturate and budget accordingly.  If your route has 1,000 homes in it – then you’ll need to provide mailings for every home.  The average carrier route has about 250-500 homes in it.  When using the carrier route selection tool from USPS – we always recommend ‘de-selecting all’ first – when you get to that screen so it doesn’t pull up every route in your zip code (that can be a little intimidating!)  Then, based on YOUR budget, you can choose the carrier routes in your market with the number of homes you can comfortably afford to send to repeatedly.

Fact #10:  To piggyback on #9, while this is a much more affordable mailing option for most agents, contentremember this is still direct marketing.  So if you can only afford to (or care to) send a mailing ONCE to an area – then it will more than likely not glean you the results you are looking for.  Keep that 3-7-27 rule in mind.  It takes 3 impressions for someone to recognize your name, 7 impressions to put your name with your business and 27 to become a ‘top of mind’ brand name in someone’s head.  So better to mail to 300 people ten times for example than to send one mailing of 3,000 if you want to build that awareness and trust.

Fact #11:  You’ll need to include a form (PS Form 3587) with your mailing that identifies the carrier routes, number of homes in the route, etc.  It’s a government form so – while it’s a little mind-boggling – it’s not too bad!  (And with our service we’ll even fill it out for you so no worries!)

Fact #12:  Your mailers have to be bundled and banded in groups of 100 and include a “facing slip” on each bundle.  So that’s not a lot of fun – but again – we do that for you if you like.  Besides – you’ve got to think about those delivery folks!  Can you image if you gave them one giant stack?  Yikes!

Fact #13:  If your best target market is actually in other cities or states, you can use Priority Mail® to ship your Every Door Direct Mail mailings to the Post Office in that area.  How cool is that?  This is especially helpful if you are working with vacation properties or investors.

Fact #14:  You have OPTIONS.  Whether you’re an all-hands-on-deck kind of person and want to do everything yourself or whether you just want to choose your mailing piece, pick your routes and have the rest all done for you – we’ve got a solution that works for you, your market and your budget.  Learn more about how Every Door Direct Mail – just click here!

Fact #15:  You don’t have to do it BY YOURSELF.  The truth is, this is an exciting and affordable opportunity to saturate a market with your message but there are variables, budgets and geographic areas to consider.  Sometimes (all right – most of the time) it’s good to have another person to help walk you through the process.  Our EDDM specialists have the experience and knowledge to do just that – just give them a call at 866.405.3638.  They’re happy to help. 

Hope that helps!  Happy marketing!